Dear SHERA Members,
Panel proposals for a SHERA sponsored panel for the 2019 CAA Annual Conference in New York, February 13-16, are invited.
We encourage submission of proposals discussing issues of art or art history in any of the fields SHERA as a Society covers. The organizer of the panel must be a CAA member (membership number must be provided) as well as member of SHERA.
Please submit your panel proposal to email@example.com by April 15, 2018. While SHERA’s Board will select the panel to be submitted on our Society’s behalf to CAA, be reminded that the ultimate decision of acceptance is CAA’s.
The SHERA Board is pleased to announce the SHERA-sponsored panel to be held at the meeting of ASEEES in Boston from December 6-10 as well as two runners-up. While ASEEES does not have a mechanism for noting runners-up in the convention’s online or printed schedules, we would like to recognize particularly interesting panels as well as alerting the membership to their colleagues’ current and ongoing research. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a panel.
Final confirmation of acceptance of panels will not be announced until June 1. After that time, SHERA’s board members will pull together a list of all panels potentially of interest to the membership. Members are all invited to announce their panels, together with dates and times, on H-SHERA after acceptance notifications are sent out in early May.
The panel selected for 2018 is:
The Passion for Collecting: Collectors and Their Collections in Imperial Russia (1800-1917)
The panel is devoted to the history of private collections in the long nineteenth century in imperial Russia. It discusses collections, collectors and their collecting practices in order to explore collectors’ purposes and intellectual pursuits, the exhibiting and popularization of collected objects, art and artifacts, and debates triggered by collections’ display.
Chair: Kyeann Sayer, PhD Candidate (University of Hawai’i at Manoa)
Laura Schlosberg, PhD (Stanford University), “Zinaida Volkonskaia’s Allée de Souvenirs at the Villa Wolkonsky in Rome”
The paper examines Volkonskaia’s Allée de Souvenirs as a historical and autobiographical creation, a collection with both personal and educational purposes. While Diego Angeli identified the Allée as an expression of Volkonskaia’s nostalgia, the Allée presents a historical narrative, one in conversation with its Roman setting connecting Russia to European civilization.
Hanna Chuchvaha, PhD (Independent scholar), “Craftswomen and Stitches: Print Collections of Female Crafts in Late Imperial Russia (1860-1917)”
The paper analyzes the specific female collectors’ focus on objects associated with women, their pastimes, domesticity and femininity understood as an expression of both self and group identity. The paper explores the printed albums of female crafts collected and published by Sofia Davydova, Olena Pchilka, Princess S. N. Shakhovskaia, Natalia Shabel’skaia’s daughters, and Ebba Salwen.
Isabel Stokholm, PhD Candidate (University of Cambridge), “‘Having glimpsed the light, one does not wish for darkness’: Reform and Rehang in the Tretyakov Gallery, 1913-1917”
The paper explores four years of upheaval and change in the Tretyakov, bookended by the publication of its first scholarly catalogue in 1917. It examines how Russia’s artistic community engaged with the gallery when it was still finding its feet in the transition from private to national, following the death of Pavel Tretyakov fourteen years prior.
Discussant: Alla Myzelev, PhD (SUNY, Geneseo)
As noted above, we hope that all those attending the 2018 meeting will note the two submitted panels selected as runners-up:
Culture’s Industry, Industry’s Culture: Negotiation of Art, Craft and Industry through the Soviet Mid-Century
Christianna Bonin, Presenter and Chair, PhD Candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Olivia Crough, Presenter, PhD Candidate, Harvard University
Suheyla Takesh, Presenter, SMArchS Candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Maria Mileeva, Discussant, Teaching Fellow, University College London
Perhaps more than any other topos, the industrial factory has shaped conceptions of Soviet art in historical and contemporary imaginations. Its salience is evident in the divergent ways that artists, critics, and political officials debated and performed the effects of industrial mass production on art-making across the Soviet mid-century: from the 1920s, when the production line became the key to training “engineerartists” and socializing art by removing it from allegedly backward handcraft and bourgeois studio practices; to the 1960s, when a growing number of historians and preservationists viewed industrialization as a threat to traditional cultures and craft skills. Questioning culture’s changing relationship to labor and industry, this panel examines the effects of the industrial factory as both a real and imagined site on artists and their work. Our case studies focus on artists from or practicing across Central Asia, Russia, and the Middle East because their work critically reveals the extent of Soviet cultural and industrial hegemony, as well as shifts in the utility of local practice to industry before and after World War II. In each of our case studies, we consider the circulation and commoditization of objects and practical knowledge into market goods, collectibles and tourism industries. Countering the belief that modern industry eliminates craft or tradition, this panel reveals how these concepts operate in tandem in the Soviet context.
The first paper considers Varvara Stepanova’s role in the state publishing industry, as a woman designer and art director, parsing how publications such as 10 years of Soviet Uzbekistan (1934) produces relations between Central Asian culture, craft, and the cotton industry in the 1930s. The second paper analyzes a hybrid form of painting made by a young generation of Kazakh artists in 1960s Almaty. Aware that the introduction of industrial labor and a system of fine art education had deskilled or eliminated certain forms of Kazakh carpet-making, this group combined older carpet-making techniques with the primitivist aesthetics of Western artists in their paintings in order to perform their modernity internationally, while also appealing to state-led craft revival programs. The third paper examines the work of Iraqi artist Mahmoud Sabri, who studied in Moscow in the 1960s under socialist realist painter Aleksandr Deineka” and utilized the aesthetic and craft technique of Orthodox icon painting in works attending to the trauma of Communists’ repression in Iraq.
Exhibiting Artistic Change: Social and Aesthetic Dimensions of Art Exhibitions in Imperial Russia
This panel aims to explore the changing role, function, and format of art exhibitions in Imperial Russia. Advocating an interdisciplinary approach, the panel will address both the aesthetic and the social aspects of art exhibitions. The aesthetic aspect will include examination of the manner in which the state, academies, voluntary societies, art groups and individual artists represent their aesthetic agenda through the exhibition medium; the extent to which the exhibition can be instrumental in constructing and promoting national identity; and the ways in which art exhibitions affected the development of the art historical narratives. The social aspect will explore both the political and commercial dimensions of the exhibition practice: to which extent did art exhibitions contribute to the expansion of the public art scene in Russia? What was the role of the art market, state (censorship), voluntary societies, artists, critics and viewers in this process? How did the art exhibition as a marketing tool change over time and what were the social and artistic implications?
Chair: Aglaya Glebova, UC Irvine
Margaret Samu, The New School, Parsons School of Design, Art Exhibitions at Auctions and Estate Sales in St. Petersburg 1750–1850
Where could St. Petersburgers see and learn about works of art in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries? Most scholarly literature about this period dwells on the absence of art on public view in the capital, relieved only by the triennial exhibitions at the Imperial Academy of Arts. Recent research, however, shows that exhibitions held before auctions and estate sales served as important venues for members of the literate classes to develop their knowledge of art and hone their connoisseurial skills. Because these exhibitions did not charge admission, nor require viewers to make purchases, they allowed non-elite classes the same opportunity to view art as the nobility who bought works for their collections. Drawing on newspaper announcements, sale inventories, and other primary sources, this paper will examine the role of these exhibitions in the development of taste and visual literacy in St. Petersburg before the mid-nineteenth century.
Nikita Balagurov, Higher School of Economics Saint Petersburg, Inventing the Russian School of Art at the 1882 All-Russian Exhibition
Abstract. In Moscow in 1882, the state-sponsored All-Russian Exhibition for the first time showcased achievements in the arts, along with those in heavy and light industries. Celebrating Tsar Alexander II’s reign, this Art Section, entitled “Twenty-Five Years of Russian Art”, became the first comprehensive survey of contemporary Russian art. By reconstructing the ideological, social and aesthetic aspects of the section, this paper scrutinizes this earliest attempt to formulate a narrative of a Russian “national school of art,” which was then further developed by the critic Vladimir Stasov in his influential essay by the same title (1882–1883) and in the founding of the Russian Museum of Alexander III in Saint Petersburg in 1898.
Andrey Shabanov, European University at St Petersburg, The End of the “Salons” in Russia and Western Europe
Abstract. The most defining professional emancipation of Russian artists in the late nineteenth century occurred with the privatization of art exhibitions — from an exhibition ruled by the Academy or other state-sponsored institutions, to one that was independently run. This change was realized by the Peredvizhniki (known in English as the Wanderers or Itinerants), which consisted of Moscow and St Petersburg artists who organized touring art exhibitions. The present paper will explore this major shift in exhibiting practices in Russia and its broader aesthetic and social implications. It will also examine how these changes related to similar late nineteenth-century institutional developments in Western Europe.
Maria Mileeva, University College London, Research and Teaching Fellow
Jane Sharp, Rutgers University
SHERA invites our members to submit session proposals for a SHERA-sponsored session at the Society of Architectural Historians SAH 72nd Annual International Conference in Providence RI, April 24-28, 2019. Session proposals should be submitted to the SHERA Board at: [firstname.lastname@example.org] (email@example.com) by SHERA deadline - December 10, 2017, and should comply with the instructions found below in the SAH Call for Sessions. The chair (co-chairs) of the selected proposal will be notified ASAP, for timely submission on the SAH website.
The individual proposing a SHERA-sponsored session must follow the same selection process for SAH conference sessions proposed by organizations as those proposed by individuals. Acceptance is not guaranteed. A Conference session selected by SAH Conference Committee is considered an academic achievement.
Session proposals must include the following elements:
- A session title not longer than 65 characters, including spaces and punctuation
- Summary of the subject and the premise in no more than 500 words
- Name, professional affiliation (if applicable), address, telephone, and email address (if your session is sponsored by SHERA, you also have to become a SAH member, and ensure that the information you are providing matches an existing SAH profile/membership account to avoid misdirecting communications.
- A current CV (2 pages maximum)
Although the SAH membership is international, the annual conference is conducted in English. Therefore, all session proposals must be submitted in English and, if accepted, conducted in English.
SAH Call for Sessions SAH 2019 Annual International Conference
SAH Submission Deadline: January 16, 2018, at 5 pm CST.
The Society of Architectural Historians will offer a total of 36 paper sessions at its 2019 Annual International Conference in Providence, Rhode Island. The Society invites its members, including graduate students and independent scholars, representatives of SAH chapters and partner organizations, to chair a session at the conference. As SAH membership is required to chair or present research at the annual conference, non-members who wish to chair a session will be required to join SAH next August 2018 when conference registration opens for Session Chairs and Speakers. Since the principal purpose of the SAH annual conference is to inform attendees of the general state of research in architectural history and related disciplines, session proposals covering every time period and all aspects of the built environment, including landscape and urban history, are encouraged.
Sessions may be theoretical, methodological, thematic, interdisciplinary, pedagogical, revisionist or documentary in premise and ambition and have broadly conceived or more narrowly focused subjects. Sessions that embrace cross-cultural, transnational and/or non-Western topics are particularly welcome. In every case, the subject should be clearly defined in critical and historical terms.
Since late submissions cannot be considered, it is recommended that proposals be submitted well before the deadline. Last-minute submissions that fail posting in the online portal or are sent in error via email cannot be considered. Only proposals submitted through the online portal can be considered. To ensure broad participation in the SAH Annual International Conference, individuals are limited to the role of either a session chair OR a speaker. If you are selected as a session chair you may not submit a paper abstract to other sessions to be considered for speaking. Each Session Chair and Speaker is expected to fund his or her own travel and related expenses to participate in the conference. A copy of the Session Chair and Speaker Agreement that includes deadlines and step-by-step processes will be distributed to both Session Chairs and Speakers. Session Chairs and Speakers are required to join SAH and pre-register for the conference starting in August 2018.
SAH Key Dates October 03, 2017, 3 pm CDT - Call for sessions opens January 16, 2018, 5 pm CST - Deadline to submit a session proposal February 23, 2018 - Session selection notification March 9, 2018, 5 pm CDT - Revised session proposals due April 3, 2018, 3 pm CDT - Call for papers opens June 5, 2018, 5 pm CDT - Deadline to submit a paper abstract June 7, 2018 - Session Chairs start reviewing paper submissions July 13, 2018 - Session Chairs make final selection of papers and notify speakers August 1, 2018 - Session Chair & Speaker registration opens September 27, 2018 - Session Chair & Speaker registration closes
Recent developments in biotechnology, genetics, and artificial intelligence suggest that the ancient myths of eternal youth, immortality, and material resurrection are now a tangible horizon of the technological imagination. At the same time, a century of dreams for travel in cosmic space and life on other planets have coalesced into a new transcendental realm—infinite in size, yet located in the material world, which itself has radically expanded. What are the politics and aesthetics of life in this new world? Already in the late 19th century, Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov started considering some of these questions in his philosophy of the common task, which advocated technological immortality, material resurrection for all who had ever lived, and the exploration of outer space. A central tenet of Fedorov’s larger philosophical outlook, known as Russian Cosmism, puts art on par with science, technology, and social organization as an integral force ushering in the new world. Fedorov’s ideas inspired numerous artists, writers, and scientists in his lifetime and well after his physical death. Following the October Revolution in 1917, Russian Cosmism became attractive to the materialist philosophy at the core of Communist ideology. This radical vision of everlasting life in the cosmos was particularly important for the Russian avant-garde, which explored the possibilities of new worlds through Suprematism, Constructivism, and other related movements that have been long represented in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art. post presents “Russian Cosmism: A Work of Art in the Age of Technological Immortality” will address the ideas of Russian Cosmism and their relevance to our time. During this one-night symposium, Boris Groys will speak on the biopolitics of technological immortality and resurrection; Arseny Zhilyaev considers the aesthetic ideals of Russian Cosmism including “life building” in collaboration with God; Hito Steyerl will talk about continued quests for the elixir of immortality, euthanasia, and genocide; and Anton Vidokle will present a recent short film called The Communist Revolution Was Caused by the Sun. Boris Groys is a philosopher, essayist, and media theorist. Having taught in Philadelphia, Münster, and Los Angeles, he became Professor of Art History, Philosophy and Media Theory at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in 1994. In 2009, he was appointed Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University. He has published widely on the subject of the Russian avant-garde and was curator of the exhibition Dream Factory Communism at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt in 2003–04. Hito Steyerl is a writer and filmmaker. Her works have been exhibited at the 32nd São Paulo Biennial (2016), the 9th Berlin Biennale (2016), the German Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), and Documenta 12 (2007), among other venues and institutions. Anton Vidokle is an artist and editor of e-flux journal. He was born in Moscow and lives in New York and Berlin. Vidokle’s work has been exhibited internationally at Documenta 13 and at the 56th Venice Biennale. His films have been presented at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; Garage Museum, Moscow; Remai Modern, Saskatoon; and others. Arseny Zhilyaev is an artist based in Moscow. In recent works he has examined the legacy of Soviet museology and the museum within Russian Cosmism. Among other writings, he has published articles in e-flux journal. Zhilyaev is editor of Avant-Garde Museology (2015). His works have been shown at the Gwangju Biennale, Liverpool Biennial, and the Ljubljana Triennial, as well as in exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo, Paris; De Appel, Amsterdam; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris and San Francisco; and the V-A-C Foundation, Moscow.
Translations and Dialogues: The Reception of Russian Art Abroad
The reception of Russian art in Europe and the United States is the subject of a three-day international conference, hosted by the Centro Studi sulle Arti della Russia (CSAR) at the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice, and co-organized by the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture, Inc. (SHERA) and the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre (CCRAC).
This conference brings together scholars from Europe, the US, and Russia on the centenary of the October Revolution to present their work on a broader historical spectrum than the events of only 1917. By focusing on the reception of Russian art abroad, it hopes to engage with ideas of continuity and connection more than rupture and separation. In doing so, it promises to bring out new perspectives on the study of the history of Russian art as a vibrant and growing field. The conference organizers are part of an international network of scholarly societies and research institutes that came together with the revival of SHERA in 2013. This is their first collaborative conference.
All events will take place in the Auditorium Santa Margherita at the University Ca’ Foscari. Please register if you are planning to attend here: http://veniceconference.com/registration
25 October 2017
Opening Reception and Grand Opening
Session 1: Dialogues with Western Europe
Session 2: Vereshchagin and Makovsky Abroad
Session 3: Towards the Fin de Siècle
26 October 2017
Session 1: Russian and Soviet Art in Germany in the 1920s
Session 2: Russian and Soviet Art in America and Europe
Session 3: Malevich, Tatlin, Lissitzky
27 October 2017
Session 1: Soviet Nonconformist Art and Its Reception Abroad
Session 2: Exhibiting Russian Art Abroad: Curatorial Ventures
Roundtable I: Collecting Russian Art (in memory of Norton Dodge)
Roundtable II: International Exhibition Practices
International Conference: Art Born in the Revolution: Russian Art and the State 1917-1932
With guest speakers including John Bowlt, Maria Gough, Christina Kiaer, Christina Lodder and Robert Service
The Royal Academy of Arts, in association with the Courtauld Institute of Art, presents a two-day academic conference to coincide with the exhibition Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932 for scholars, students and those interested in the period.
Turned overnight into the ruling party, the Bolsheviks aimed to use the power of mass propaganda in order to establish their founding mythology and disseminate their ideas to an overwhelmingly rural and illiterate population. In 1917 the leader of the new Bolshevik state, Vladimir Lenin, proclaimed that culture should support political needs.
The first day of the conference is held at the Courtauld Institute of Art and aims to address the question of how useful visual art was to the revolution, as well as the ways in which cinema, printed media and consumer goods were used for propaganda purposes. The second day considers the death and immortalisation of key revolutionary figures, such as Lenin, and the consequent establishment of autocratic rule under Stalin, alongside the impact that social, political and economic developments had on the visual arts and culture.
Organised by Dr Natalia Murray, the Courtauld Institute of Art. Full conference programme below. Please note that each day requires a separate booking.
Day one: Friday 24 February 2017 - The Courtauld Institute of Art
2pm – 6.45pm (registration from 1.30pm)
Tickets £16 (£11 concession)
Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, WC2R 0RN
Day two: Saturday 25 February 2017 - The Royal Academy of Arts
10.30am – 6.30pm (registration from 10am)
Tickets £50 (including entry into the exhibition, refreshments and drinks)
Reynolds Room, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 0BD
CFP: Radical Art in Transition: Counter-culture, protest, resistance and contemporary art in the Balkans since 1968
Deadline for Paper Proposals: 7 November 2016
‘…this transformation is now openly being challenged by the rise of new social movements and by the return of radical politics in the post-Yugoslav and wider Balkan region. A new generation enters politics via direct democratic actions and the street and not through political channels of electoral democracy and classic party politics…sometimes in unlikely places, such as the post-socialist and post-conflict Balkans, we can see a sudden explosion of original radicalism.’
Igor Štiks & Srecko Horvat, Radical Politics in the Desert of Transition, 2015 Štiks and Horvat’s analysis of recent political protests in the former Yugoslavia, and in the wider Balkan region, focus on the development of ‘parallel institutions’, ‘alternative structures’, and the struggles of a ‘new consensus’ to gain traction in a heavily contested and corrupted political landscape.
Much of this analysis could also be extended to open out intersections between counter cultures, political protest, and contemporary art in the Balkans region since the upheavals of 1968. From the actions of the New Left in the Yugoslav context, to more recent public demonstrations against governments and the effects of neoliberal politics from Slovenia to Turkey, from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Moldova, protest and the cultural and political imagination are vivid threads in late modern and contemporary art in the region.
This panel seeks papers that address the intersections between visual culture and political protest in the Western Balkan space. We are open minded about the approaches you could take; from art-historical analyses of specific moments (eg Serbian art’s response to the rise of radical nationalism at the end of the 1980s and in the Miloševi? years), to essays on the role and future of institutions in a bleak funding landscape, to specific interventions by cultural actors in the political or para-political stage.
We are interested, too, in how visual culture has responded to and developed particular layers of protest; such as LGBTIQ+, debates surrounding minority rights, and self-organised community-based actions.
In opening out debate on the complex inter-relations between visual culture, counter culture and protest, we hope that our joint work will develop new insights into, and understandings of, these difficulties, and contextualise these debates against a broader background of political, economic and cultural hierarchies within the EU.
Please email your paper proposals straight to the session convenor(s). Provide a title and abstract for a 25 minute paper (max 250 words). Include your name, affiliation and email. Your paper title should be concise and accurately reflect what the paper is about (it should ‘say what it does on the tin’) because the title is what appears most first and foremost online, in social media and in the printed programme.
You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks. Do not send proposals to the Conference Administrator or the Conference Convenor.
Deadline for Paper Proposals: 7 November 2016
43rd Annual Conference and Art Book Fair
6th – 8th April 2017
ANN: Lecture - Caryl Emerson, On Mikhail Bakhtin and Human Studies
To mark 50 Years of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield the following lecture has been organised by the School of Languages and Cultures, The Prokhorov Centre and the Bakhtin Centre at the University of Sheffield.
On Mikhail Bakhtin and Human Studies
(with continual reference to Moscow and Sheffield)
Professor Emerson’s lecture will address some of the following questions:
• What human studies (and in particular the study of literary culture and value) can hope to do;
• How the thought of Mikhail Bakhtin can help us to do it;
• How scholars at Sheffield pursue a “philosophy of the human” through a Russian and Slavonic lens.
Every vital field that is perceived as failing to provide basic services or commercially viable goods is destined to be in a permanent “value crisis.” But repeating the mantra of a “crisis of the humanities” is a sorry way to approach the challenges of one’s job. The task, rather, is to argue for the absolute necessity of certain threatened virtues: serious study of world languages, human dignity as a cognitive value, organic as opposed to mechanical systems, and the empirical benefits of patience and real (deep) time.
About our speaker:
Caryl Emerson is A. Watson Armour III University Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University. She has written on the work of Mikhail Bakhtin in a number of prominent publications including her seminal bookMikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics (with Gary Saul Morson, 1990) and The First Hundred Years of Mikhail Bakhtin (1997) and translated texts such as Bakhtin’s Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics (1984) and the collection The Dialogic Imagination (with Michael Holquist, 1981). She has also written widely on nineteenth-century Russian literature and opera, resulting in such works as The Cambridge Introduction to Russian Literature (2008) and All the Same the Words Don’t Go Away (Essays on Authors, Heroes, Aesthetics, and Stage Adaptations from the Russian Tradition) (2011).
4pm, Friday 28 October 2016
Followed by wine reception
Humanities Research Institute
Gell St. Sheffield
Conference: DADA TECHNIQUES IN EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE (1916–1930)
October 13-15, 2016
1033 Budapest, Fő tér 1, Zichy castle, Hungary
International Conference organized by the Petőfi Literary Museum – Kassák Museum and the Institute for Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
For the full programme, please see The Kassak Museum website
The conference of the Petőfi Literary Museum – Kassák Museum and the Institute for Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences marks the centenary of the beginning of Dada in Zurich. The conference concentrates on Dada phenomena in East-Central Europe, especially the Dada techniques that appeared in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its successor states. The avant-garde artists of the East-Central European region felt the impact of Dada at the end of the First World War, when established economic, political and identity strategies were going through crisis and rearrangement. In these years, many borders became blurred: between centre and periphery, between politics and anti-politics, and among genders, artists’ roles and forms of artistic expression.
A distinctive attitude of Dada was the crossing of borders, and this had a uniquely emancipating role: by suspending traditional social norms, it opened the way to artistic self-realization without borders. Dada dispensed with the questions of origin, religious background, women’s role stereotypes or even formal artistic training. It removed the moral barriers to asking previously inconceivable and provocative questions concerning artistic creation and reception, institutions, society and public taste in general. Dada was a symptom of the decomposition of the old world. Its radical language had an impact even on artists who never called themselves ‘Dadaists’.
What did avant-garde artists use Dada for in East-Central Europe during the 1910s and 1920s? Certainly to commit systematic border incursions. The borders were those between languages, majority and minority identities, politics and anti-politics. The sections of the conference discuss these artistic border incursions.
First international scientific conference focused on artistic work of Kazymyr Malevych to take place in Kyiv
Artist of Ukrainian-Polish origin Kazymyr Malevych was born in Kyiv, his artistic work has close ties with Ukraine and not merely in terms of location. Problems of the then-time Ukraine are reflected in his works, for example, the fate of rural population during collectivization. For a long time Malevych same as other avant-garde artists whose life and work were connected to Ukraine, was classified as “Russian avant-garde”. One of the reasons for that was lack of historic documents that would lay ground to research of the artist’s Ukrainian period. Such archive documents were published in the end of 2015. They will become the basis for the first international conference to be held in Kyiv.
Kyiv, September 7, 2016. On October 6-9 Kyiv will host the First International Scientific Conference focused on artistic work of Kazymyr Malevych named “Kazymyr Malevych: the Kyiv Aspect”. The event is to unite leading researchers of Malevych’s artistic activities from France, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Belarus, Israel and Canada.
“Such well-known researchers as Jean-Claude Marcadé and Andrei Nakov accepted our invitation. It is due to them that the term “Ukrainian avant-garde” appeared. […] We have received a total of 30 applications, biggest part of the applicants will take part and make interventions at the conference,” said organizer of the conference Tetyana Filevska, researcher of Malevych’s art work, author of the book “Kazymyr Malevych. The Kyiv Period 1928-1930” at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The event is organized by the NGO “Malevych Institute” and is supported at both the state level – by the cultural diplomacy department of Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture, Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre, and by international and national cultural organizations including Polish Institute in Kyiv and Ya Gallery. Ukraine Crisis Media Center also supports the event.
Ukrainian Period of Malevych
The conference aims at discussing the Kyiv period of the artist’s work that comes into the spotlight for the first time in the book “Kazymyr Malevych. The Kyiv Period 1928-1930”. The book contains recently discovered texts that relate to Malevych’s work at the Kyiv Institute of Arts as well as the artist’s articles published in 2015 that had been never published before and that became a scoop right on the 100th anniversary of the “Black Square”. “Kazymyr Malevych is the most researched artist in the world, […] however very little was said about his Kyiv period due to the lack of documents. Documents discovered last year made it possible,” said Tetyana Filevska. “We will be discussing not only the 1928-1930 years because Malevych’s connection to Kyiv is much wider and includes his birth, childhood, family ties, his studies at Murashko art school and constant connection to Kyiv’s artistic community.”
It has been for quite a while that Malevych was referred to as a Russian artist both in post-Soviet countries and in the West, because there was almost no information about his Ukrainian period of artistic work. As a result art experts could not explain why the works of this period differ so much from his other works. “They could not understand why Malevych’s works had no color in Saint Petersburg and suddenly became so colorful; they were wondering where the second cycle of works portraying rural population came from and in which way it should be researched and classified. When the Ukrainian aspect was discovered everything fell into place,” explained Dmytro Horbachov, professor, researcher of Ukrainian avant-garde, honorary head of the conference’s organizing committee. “Malevych liked and sympathized with the rural population a lot, ornaments on the stoves had a huge impact on his art work. […] When they ‘broke the spine’ of the rural population in 1929 (collectivization), it was a personal tragedy to him and started painting helpless peasants choosing yellow-and-blue as a background, formally it was a landscape.”
Breakaway from Ukraine’s colonial past
Wide scientific discussion of the artist’s Kyiv period of work is important not only in the scientific dimension but also in the political one – as part of Ukraine’s breakaway from its colonial past, when the country was dissolved in the huge empire. “Malevych theme is an example of how historic justice needs to be restored and decommunization needs to be carried out. It is an example of how art may change everything, that’s why it was of interest that he keeps being considered Russian not Ukrainian,” noted Leonid Marushchak, Arts Department curator at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
“In such a way we are trying to rediscover our modernist culture that takes us from the 19th to the 21st century. It is a powerful signal for the international artistic community and a power communication occasion for cultural diplomacy,” said Pavlo Bilodid, cultural project manager at the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School.
Tetyana Filevska also said that on the conference days the National Art Museum will display its Malevych-related archive. “We are also preparing an exposition of embroidered works from Verbivka village based on Malevych’s sketches. We will also present the (recently found) materials from the Kropyvnytsky archive that we published in the book, so that all interested will be able to see them,” she added.